Jessica Biel stopped by Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert earlier this week and looked back fondly on her 7th Heaven days. She recalled having a crush on one of her co-stars, but she never had the chance due to the real-life age difference. Biel and co-star Beverly Mitchell both had crushes on Barry Watson, who was much older than them. All three played siblings on the WB/CW series.
“I definitely remember Beverley and I had crushes on Barry [Watson], who played our older brother, but no one ever dated anybody,” Biel told Shepard, reports Us Weekly. The issue was their age difference. Biel was only 14 when 7th Heaven debuted, and Watson was 22. “He was dating, like, real-life women. We were 14 years old,” Biel, now 39, recalled. “There was no chance for us. It was not happening.”
Mitchell, 40, shared similar thoughts on her blog, Growing Up Hollywood, in 2016. “I am pretty sure every teenage girl had a crush on Barry, I mean look at him. Jess and I did for a minute. I mean it really isn’t fair that he had better hair,” Mitchell wrote. 7th Heaven ran for 11 seasons on The WB and The CW from 1996 to 2007 and centers on a reverend’s family. The series is available to stream on Hulu and Paramount+.
Shepard later asked Biel if she would let her sons with husband Justin Timberlake – Silas, 6, and Phineas, 11 months – follow them into the entertainment industry. Her “knee-jerk reaction” is no, but Biel admitted it might be difficult to stop them. “But then I look at these kids and I’m like, ‘Oh s—, they’ll probably be musical.’ What are you going to do? Not let them play the piano or not let take a voice lesson if that’s their passion?” she said.
Biel’s own parents never stopped her from pursuing her career, and she wants to follow that example. Biel was born in Ely, Minnesota, and trained to be a singer before she turned to acting in her teens. “I don’t want to be that parent to stifle a dream, but man, if my kid would just be, like, ‘Let’s go learn about corn in Iowa,’ I would so much more want them to be an engineer or something,” Biel told Shepard.
Biel also told Shepard she didn’t really plan to keep Phineas’ birth a secret. Timberlake didn’t reveal Phineas was born until January. “It wasn’t like it was supposed to be a secret. It was just COVID happened, and then I went to Montana with my family and never left,” she said. As she went into labor, hospital restrictions chanced and she was not even sure Timberlake would be allowed in the room with her. Ultimately though, doctors allowed him to be by her side. “I think if I had to be there alone, that would have been horrible,” Biel told Shepard. “I would have been really scared.”